Our Climate is ready for new Massachusetts State Legislature’s session. While legislators file new bills, craft a new legislative rulebook, and build alliances, we and our partners have laid the groundwork for unprecedented coordination in the intergenerational state climate movement.
The Massachusetts Youth Climate Coalition now has 13 official member organizations–17 if you count the individual hubs. Among our most recent additions are two groups from environmental justice (EJ) communities (Greenroots ECO Team and VietAID), two new Sunrise hubs, and multiple hubs in established nonprofits like MASSPIRG students and Mass Audubon.
Phone banking during MYCC’s only Virtual Earth Week this past April!
The diversity of membership is a testament to the intentional work we’ve done to build an accessible, equitable, shared space. This includes not just building teams and norms for our calls and slack spaces, but also decision-making processes, on-boarding processes, and guidelines for facilitating our calls. We even guided the whole coalition through updating our policy principles so that they represent our newest members’ values, and will serve us in the coming session.
Recently, we’ve also been working within MYCC to organize an upcoming Transparency Lobby Week where over 100 youth from across the state will digitally meet their legislators and ask them to make congress more transparent to the public. OC, with help from MYCC organizations and various EJ partners, has crafted a list of ‘asks’ for the lobby week that speak to the broader coalition’s goals–getting the committees to publicly post their votes on line, increased time for advocates and legislators to write bill amendments, and more frequent votes on the public record. Big shout outs to Fellow Orlee Lauren and Field Reps Alice Fan, Ruby Chase, Vivian Santos-Smith, and Aiden Wang for planning this epic event.
Empowering MYCC members to lead in adult-led spaces
We have also prioritized bringing MYCC youth voices into adult-led advocacy coalition meetings, campaigns, and organizations. Fellow Ralph Corbelle and Field Advisors Sofia Liang and Angela Ruan are bridging relationships with the youth sector of MA Renews (formerly Green New Deal Roundtable). Fellows Kala Garrido and Vivian Hernandez Coto have represented MYCC on the Mass Power Forward (MPF) Frontline team, where they both represent youth opinions, and learn directly how to coordinate with and show up for the EJ organizations also at the table. Intern Haven Vincent-Warner and Field Coordinator Eben Bein are now members of the MPF Planning team where they have helped to keep that coalition’s campaigns and relationships in line with youth goals.
Additionally, we have brought the Corporate Polluter Fee coalition (formerly Clean Energy Future) into stronger relationship with other coalitions and EJ partners. Kala, Haven, Eben, Vivian Hernandez Coto, and Field Advisors Hawa Tabayi and Benny Smith have participated in the bill drafting process and have hosted seven direct consultations with EJ groups. They are currently helping Climate XChange and the rest of the Corporate Polluter Fee coalition to not only include more EJ ideas in the bill, but to make a public commitment to only fight for market-based mechanisms with these key ideas. This will keep advocates accountable to the communities they work to protect.
Field Advisor Benny presenting youth ideas for the new corporate polluter fee bill!
Over the past year, we have also made a concerted effort to weave the theme of transparency deep into the fabric of the coalitions we work with. So Benny, Eben and Intern Olivia Sullivan redesigned a database where we can track our legislator interactions in 5 different campaigns across 4 coalitions, seeking feedback from all users. Stay tuned in these organizer spaces for the upcoming roll out so that we can collaboratively keep our legislators more accountable.
There are many ways to be a climate advocate, and not all of them are flashy or exciting. Our Climate’s staff and youth leaders do the critical grunt work in order to achieve alignment, and strengthen relationships and commitments that are critical to success in the coming session.
If you appreciate this work, and you are able at this time, please consider making a donation, especially as a monthly sustainer. If you have young people in your life who might want to meet their legislators with us in January, have them RSVP here. If you have any questions about the programming, send them to intern Ian Galinson at email@example.com.
Thank you, Our Climate MA team